What is Michigan ATHENA?

Michigan ATHENA’s vision is to serve as a statewide organization to amplify ATHENA International’s mission to develop, support and honor women leaders and those who inspire them to reach their full potential.

Since 1982, over 200 outstanding women leaders in Michigan have been recognized by local ATHENA programs for their achievements, successes and accomplishments. Today, Michigan ATHENA proudly supports 13 affiliate ATHENA chapters in Michigan to highlight best practices, provide education, honor professional excellence and encourage collaboration and unity.  

Michigan ATHENA’s mission:

  • Assist local programs in delivering high quality ATHENA programming
  • Provide leadership development and mentorship opportunities to empower women
  • Develop a statewide network of business leaders invested in leadership diversity

The Michigan ATHENA program is administered by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. 

The ATHENA Leadership Model identifies eight distinct attributes that are reflective of women’s contributions to leadership: living authentically, learning constantly, advocating fiercely, acting courageously, fostering collaboration, building relationships, giving back and celebrating. These personal traits that are more intuitive to women, and combined with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership - taking risks, assertiveness, hard work - prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st century. Please take a moment to view of list of award recipients here

How It All Began

Michigan ATHENA and the local ATHENA programs are the offspring of ATHENA International, founded in 1982 by Martha Mayhood Mertz while serving on the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that seeks to support, develop and honor women leaders. The program inspires women to reach their full potential and strives to create balance in leadership worldwide. Since the program’s inception, more than 7,000 awards have been presented in over 500 communities in 8 countries.

To learn more about Michigan ATHENA, contact Kristin Beltzer at kbeltzer@michamber.com

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